Archive for March 18th, 2006

Fake Ass Shit

5

The classic internet scam involving the wife/financial
advisor/secretary of the Minister of Finance of Nigeria/Kenya/Uganda,
who needs access to a foreign bank account to tidy up the funds.The continued
variations on this scam must mean it’s sucking in somebody,
although its hard to avoid asking oneself "Why would a government minister
in Africa want to give ME millions of dollars?"

A
new wrinkle on this scam recently hit home.  Our
22-year-old
son
, who was out of work and looking for a job at the time,
received a US Mail Express Mail envelope from California printed with,
in large letters, "Extremely Urgent – please rush to addressee" and bearing
$14.40 in postage. This was clearly not conventional spam.

Inside were what appeared to be 9 US Postal Money Orders
for $950 each. He also got emails which followed the familiar pattern,
money in Africa, need to get it out, need help, God led us to you. He
was supposed to send 90% and keep 10%.

Of course, our son barely had enough in the bank to
pay the rent, he was foraging daily in our frig, so he couldn’t send
them anything.  Their emails, dripping in "Praise Gods!" and "Glory
to the Lords" and other evangelical balderdash, started asking for 50%,
30%, anything. Meanwhile, bereft of funding, our son decided to try cashing
a few of them.

Of course, they are counterfeit. He is probably lucky
he decided to deposit them in his bank account.  If he had tried
to go into some "Checks Cashed" storefront he probably would have been
held a gunpoint until the police arrived. As it was, he was given a good
talking to and charged fees as though he had deposited bad checks. They
closed his account, but opened him another one. The schmuck.

We say that only because he waited until after he had
deposited the first batch to tell his dear old Dad what he was up to.
One of the rare occasions on which our experience and knowledge of scams
could have aided a loved one, and it went by the wayside.

So how did they get his data stolen? Where did they
get his info to start the scam? Turns out a week before we had posted
his Resume on Craig’s List, and it had included his address and email
(not phone). That’s all they needed.

Of course, one has to question the judgment of criminals
who try to rob people who have no jobs, who in our experience
usually have no money, but they must have gotten enough suckers to send
them enough money to make it a worthwhile scam,The money orders were
certainly realistic enough, although the numbers must be fake.

The ad on Craig’s List did get our son a job, but it
also got him into trouble and cost him money. Caveat
emptor.

A Country That Could Only Be Ruled By a Monster

1

Five towns in rural Vermont have passed resolutions calling for the Impeachment
of President Bush
. For what? The list of his sins grows
weekly but includes malfeasance, misfeasance, lying, extortion, withholding
evidence, illegal fundraising, misinforming Congress, illegal slush funds,
persecution of US citizens, but worst of all, gross incompetence resulting
in a squandering of US resources, thousands of American lives, tens of
thousands of other innocent lives, and a betrayal of American ideals
it will take us generations to recover from.

As far as we are concerned, the only question left is who will do time and who will be alowed to slink off into the shadows and cesspools of historical ignominy.

But exhibits A-Z remain the instigation and prosecution
of the war. Four and a half years after 9/11, three years after the invasion
of Iraq,
and our enemies are more numerous and more fiercely dedicated to our
destruction. Usama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
are all still at large, podcasting and video blogging to fame and iconhood
in the Muslim world.

Correct us if we are wrong, but didn’t we just 60 years
ago, take on the most powerful evil empire in the history of the earth,
led by evil incarnate Adolf Hitler,
as well as the Italians of Il Duce and the millions of fanatical Japanese,
and vanquished them absolutely. And did it between December 7, 1941 (Pearl
Harbor Day) and the Japanese surrender in 1945?

And our involvement in World War 1 was even shorter! The United States
declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. The final Armistice was signed
on Nov. 11, 1918, just two and a half years later.

And these were WORLD wars! We thought technology and
smart weapons was supposed to SHORTEN wars, not lengthen them. We thought
the
Israelis
were pointing
the way to the
future with the economical 6-day war, or the Yom Kippur war, largely
completed over a holiday three-day weekend.  This is clearly the
way to go.

But, NOOOOOooooo, George had to get us bogged down is
a quagmire of Nation Building, amidst dysfunctional local government,
sectarian violence and mounting hatred
of the obvious outsiders reigning over the whole sad, miserable landscape-
US.

We have to face it – Iraq is not now and probably never
has been a cohesive country in the modern sense of the word. It is an
artificial construct
created
less than 100 years
ago out of the rubble of the Ottoman empire and handed over to an extended
family of Arab nomads
so that western oil companies would have somebody to negotiate with about
the extraction of precious black lifeblood the world has come to depend
on.

It contains irreconcilable centuries-old antagonisms,
feuds, rivalries and hatreds between Sh’ites, Sunnis and Kurds which
have only been contained
temporarily by iron-fisted regimes, repression and violence.

At the trial of Saddam Hussein we have heard again and
again that he was a monster of historical proportions, and it is undoubtedly
true. But
the Western powers that created Iraq created an Abomination of a country
that could only be ruled by a monster.

Sadly, as is becoming increasing clear, now we have
become that monster.

impeachment article from the Boston Globe